I still remember circling New York City, while in a holding pattern before landing at LaGuardia airport. I was so excited when I saw Lady Liberty from the air. We’d never been to NYC before. The excitement I felt was in indescribable. It was like nothing we’d ever seen—anywhere. Soon, we landed and began our long anticipated adventure.
Riding in a New York City cab was wild; there’s no other way to describe it. I’ve never been in a car when the driver did a U-turn in the middle of heavy traffic—crazy! From the airport, we grabbed the cab that proved to be an exciting and rather heart pounding adventure. During the driving into the city, we zipped past tunnels, overpasses, and underpasses. When we were stalled in traffic, our “cabbie” made a 180 degree maneuver and drove us down another side street to get to our destination. “Oh yes he did!” I think he was yelled at, honked at, and “got flipped off” at least 100 times on our journey. Overall it was a noisy and thrilling ride. I’ll just say, “Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore.” We booked a moderately priced hotel in midtown Manhattan, the Holiday Inn Midtown. It was located very close to the Manhattan cruise port for the next morning’s embarkment. It was the taxi drivers job to get us there from La Guardia.
Our hotel was located on 57th St, close to Broadway, Columbus Circle, Times Square, and the south side of Central Park. Our evening plans were to do some exploring, walk down Broadway to Times Square, and eat some original New York Style pizza.
This was a fun, very memorable evening. We found New Yorkers to be very friendly and helpful; some were quick with directions. We looked like we needed help finding places, thus our maps.
We felt quite safe walking around this area in the evening, even though my family stood out like complete nutty tourists. We happily marched down Broadway, wearing our matching “I love New York T-Shirts”; we looked like a chorus line. Under the circumstances, this was a very unwise thing to do, as tourist books suggested that you try not to stand out while in New York. Oops!
We concluded our evening by swimming in the roof top pool of our hotel with all of the towering New York skyscrapers surrounding us. It’s a fantastic memory that will last a lifetime.
The morning of our cruise, we opened our curtains to the New York City skyline, a bustling city below us, and looked out over the Hudson River, trying to spot our cruise ship. We were just a short cab ride to the Manhattan Cruise port where we boarded the Carnival ship.
After the muster (safety) drill and the ship set sail, we stood on the deck, watching the Manhattan Skyline pass by. We sailed past lower Manhattan, Wall Street, and Battery Park. We couldn’t imagine what life’s like for the eight and a half million people who live and work here in NYC.
We sailed into New York Harbor, filled with many ships, past Ellis Island. We spent some time talking about the more than 12 million immigrants who first stepped out on land there. They all arrived in hopes of finding a new life, in a new country.
Finally, we sailed past Liberty Island and gazed upon the wonder; the Statue of Liberty. A gift from the people of France; she bears a torch and tablet inscribing the date of the Declaration of Independence signing. She’s an icon of freedom of the United States; a welcome signal to immigrants arriving into this land. This brought tears to my eyes. It really was something I’ll never forget.
New York City was everything, and more that we imagined; crowded, noisy, somewhat grimy, Broadway, tourists, great Pizza, and very emotional moments. A place will just draw me in. After a visit to this incredible city, I’ll say, “I love New York.”
We had a wonderful visit to a fantastic city on a very memorable Carnival Cruise line trip. We sailed from New York City up the east coast to Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John’s New Brunswick, Canada on a 5-day cruise on the Carnival Triumph.
On my next article I’ll write more about this amazing vacation up the eastern coast line of America on Carnival Cruise Line.
Thanks for stopping by. J. A. Ireland.